Sitel Reaps Q1 Profits, Tax Windfall

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Teleservices provider Sitel reported yesterday that its revenues were down but its net income was up in first quarter 2001, in part because of a tax benefit that resulted from an administrative change.


Revenues for the first three months of 2001 were $184 million, down 7.4 percent from the same period in 2000. But net income rose to $10.6 million in first quarter 2001 compared with $3 million in the first quarter of last year.


Sitel, Baltimore, said it saved $9.8 million by electing to treat its foreign operations as part of the U.S. organization. The company said it expected to continue reaping tax savings from the change as long as Sitel's U.S. taxable income continues to increase in the coming years.


Sitel chairman/CEO Jim Lynch said he was disappointed with the company's overall performance in the first quarter but had seen a number of positive developments. In addition to realizing tax savings, Sitel began work in the first quarter for a number of new U.S. clients in the financial services, telecommunications and retail industries.


Sitel estimated that its second-quarter 2001 revenues would be in line with the company's first-quarter results. The company is projecting overall revenues of $770 million to $800 million during 2001.


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